Optimism has risen around West Ham this summer following an exciting transfer window, where Manuel Pellegrini spearheaded a spending spree.
The Hammers drafted in numerous acquisitions, including expensive deals for Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop and Andriy Yarmolenko, as Pellegrini looks to lead the east London side back into the top-half and potentially back into Europe.
While numerous signings occurred, it was members of the squad who were already at the London Stadium who stand out following the pre-season campaign as we identify one winner and one loser.
Winner: Robert Snodgrass
Ousted from east London last season, Robert Snodgrass enjoyed a spell on loan with Aston Villa and was tipped to return to the Championship side for the upcoming campaign – especially following the signings of Yarmolenko and Andersen.
However, Snodgrass instead proved himself to Manuel Pellegrini and earned himself a spot in the squad at the London Stadium, catching the eye in the matches where he featured and now set to fight it out for regular football this term.
While Villa would still be keen on signing Snodgrass on loan and have until the end of August to do so, the Scotland international is focused on shining for the Hammers.
“I want to try and get minutes and play in my position. I played tonight and got a chance and it’s great to get a goal, but the performance in the first half was pleasing.”
Loser: Michail Antonio
Robert Snodgrass’ new lease of life at West Ham looks to have been the final nail in the coffin for Michail Antonio, who has tumbled further and further down the pecking order following the signings of Anderson and Yarmolenko, as well as Lucas Perez’s Deadline Day arrival.
Widely tipped for an exit before yesterday’s transfer deadline, Antonio instead remains as a spare part amongst the squad and it looks highly unlikely that the former Nottingham Forest man will earn regular playing time this season.
It represents a huge fall from grace for the 28-year-old, who was West Ham’s Player of the Year in 2016-17.